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Amsterdam bike thieves steal to order

In Amsterdam you can order yourself a new stolen bicycle from a bike thief.

A new report claims a growing concern in the Dutch capital is an underground stolen-to-order bicycle market, where buyers call a professional bike snatcher who will go out into the city to find the buyer a new ride, to the dismay of whoever the rightful owner is.

In a country of cyclists, it’s no surprise the Netherlands is having problems with rising bicycle theft rates. In a recent poll of 2,000 Amsterdam residents, 80 per cent said they have had a bike stolen before. Sixty per cent have had two or more bikes stolen.

Bike thefts are also a growing problem in Canada, especially Vancouver where the number thefts has grown 54 per cent since 2008. Some thieves won’t hesitate to cut bolts and chains or even use cordless grinders in broad daylight to steal valuable bikes. It’s particularly a problem in lower income eastside neighbourhoods and on Granville Island. Recently, a Vancouver woman found her stolen bike for sale at the city’s Binners Market.